Kep is located about 20 km / 12.5 miles from the Vietnamese border and maybe that's the reason why it isn't as popular as it could be.

Kep Crab Statue
There is even a crab greeting the visitors in Kep.

Because Kep has much more to offer than many people think - especially those who just come here for the next leg of their journey.

I spent one day here and that was only because I didn't have more time. Kep is absolutely worth a visit of three to four days, especially if you also go to the secluded Rabbit island.

Like I said, I unfortunately didn't since I had only one day for the place, but what a pleasant day that was!

There is some touristy infrastructure around the bus station where everybody arrives - small stores, some eateries, a small pharmacy. There is a small beach, artificially raised, but nice and pretty clean. Still, Kep as a beach tourist destination seems to cater more to the local crowd than to Barangs (=foreigners).

These makeshift pavilions are a fantastic idea: they are equipped with hammocks, they are shady and have enough space for an entire family great-grandparents included.

This is quite interesting and charming, since Cambodians travel in large groups and families and love to picnic which they in case of doubt spread right on a sidewalk next to the beach. For those who prefer a more sophisticated base, there are rows and rows of simple, but useful wooden pagodas to be rented.

The low-key alternative: Just a picnic right on the sidewalk.

So one can hang out on the beach or cycle the town eastwards and admire the Provincial Hall, the Independence Monument or one of the Wats like Wat Samot Raingsey.

Wat Samok Raingsy
Wat Samok Raingsey is not too high up and therefore easily accessible by bicycle.

You can leave your bike wherever you please - unlocked since "Kep no steal" as the manager of my guest house informed me when I asked for a lock. I don't know if this is a ground rule everybody should rely on in any situation, but for me and the guest house's bike it worked fine.

Or you cycle up north - and I really recommend you explore the town on an bicycle since the traffic is few and cycling brings you really close to the people which for me is Kep's most charming asset. So you cycle up north and you'll see all these little stores and houses and people will wave and shout hello and ask you your name and where you are from. If you are lucky, school is just over so all the school kids will try out their rudimentary knowledge of English on you.

Kep Rice Paddie
I love the lush rice paddies in the backdrop of the rolling hills - the outskirts of Kep are just serene and beautiful.

On the roads left side - towards the sea - there are rice paddies and palm trees and far behind you get a glimpse on Kampot in the backdrop of the mountain range - it's just so peaceful and beautiful and still very unspoiled.

If after all your cycling you still need more exercise, you can hike the Kep National Park - or you take a 25 minutes boat ride to secluded Koh Tonsay, also known as Rabbit Island. You can do that as a day trip or spend the night. By the way, there is also the possibility to travel between Kep and Kampot by boat, which might be a bit more original than taking the bus.

Kep has a really long coastline, so the boats are not only for fishing, but an important mean of transportation.

To be close to all these activities, I recommend you book yourself in one of the guest houses east of the main road, about 1 mile from downtown Kep towards Kampot. This is the most central location to enjoy it all.

When you're hungry, you just grab a crab. This is not just a funny rhyme, this is where the crab market got its name from: crabs fresh from the sea.

Kep Crab Market
The crab market of Kep is famous and one of the major tourist attractions. These fish traps are full of...crabs.

You buy them from one lady that just got them out off the water and another lady prepares them for you. Or you enjoy a couple of the skewers that come in all sizes and variations. Don't kid yourself, with a Dollar for a skewer it is over-prized, but it is so much fun and tasty and original - a visit to Kep without a snack at the crab market simply wouldn't be complete.

Kep Crab Market
There are numberless stands with a great variety of fish and shell fish skewers; fresh and delicious.

Around five o'clock, you go to the elegant Sailing Club with their nicely set up tables along the pier from where you have an undisturbed million dollar view at the sunset over your drink and dinner.

Kep Sailing Club
There are few places where I had ordered salad - at the Sailing Club I didn't worry and enjoyed a nice, fresh green papaya salad.

Don't drink too much, though, since the way back will be pitch dark - actually you should always carry a flash light or have an App on your phone.

Knai Bang Chatt / Sailing Club
Phone: + 855 - 78 - 333 686

At night only the beach strip downtown is fully illuminated - and that's not for the good of the people, nope, that's to attract the...crabs!

Kep Sailing Club Sunset
Waiting for the sun to set over...Viet Nam on the horizon.

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